WWE – The Miz: A-List Superstar (Cert 12)
2 Discs DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 349 minutes approx.
It’s fair to say that Mike “The Miz” Mizanin is in an interesting place in his WWE career, in that he is a 15-year veteran, one of the most decorated wrestlers on the roster having won practically every major singles and tag titles, including the WWE Title, has his own reality TV show and film series in The Marine.
Yet, if one were to make a list of WWE wrestlers deserving of a retrospective/compilation DVD release, The Miz wouldn’t be an obvious choice when his resume is more than chock full of achievements to warrant one. So why is this? Unfortunately, you won’t find any answers in this 2 Disc-set though you will see that the need for a proper documentary to tell The Miz story in full.
What we get there is Miz relating his story in piecemeal chunks followed by a match from that point in his career, though this format is quickly derailed as many of the moments he recalls led to Miz losing, so instead they show a different match. An example of this is on disc 2 during the feud Miz and wife Maryse had with John Cena and Nikki Bella. We look at the ruthless mocking of Total Bellas lampooning Cena and Nikki, but the pay off match from Wrestlemania 33 isn’t featured, as the faces were victorious.
If this had been the usual presentation of a feature length documentary with matches as supplementary features, this wouldn’t have stood out as egregiously as it does, at least for this writer. Then again, this format has been used for the past few wrestler profile releases, like for AJ Styles and The Shield, but as we can plainly see, Miz has a story begging for the documentary treatment.
Newer fans may not know this, but prior to joining WWE, Mike Mizanin was one of the many wannabes in an MTV reality show called The Real World and for the next few years, this was his forte. This was something that played into his persona in the early days with WWE trying to capitalise off this, making Miz a “cool” guy people want to hang out with but fans had other ideas.
Rather ironically, Miz’s entry into WWE came via its own reality show Tough Enough, where Miz made it to the final, losing to Daniel Puder who was gone a year later. But Miz had made enough of an impression on WWE officials and was offered a developmental deal with Deep South Wrestling, leading to the first match in this set being Miz vs. Mike Knox (from the rebooted ECW and Impact Wrestling’s The Menagerie) to crown the first ever DSW champion.
The match is bad, the commentary even worse and Miz’s finisher was called The Mizzard Of Oz – no wonder WWE cut its ties with DSW a couple of years later! Miz had actually trained with UPW as early as 2001, and proclaims to be a lifelong wrestling fan, citing the Hogan era wrestlers as his favourites. In DSW, Miz was a face but when relocated to OVW, he was rejected by the fans, which then-booker Paul Heyman recognised was because Miz was a natural heel.
Some fans may recall Miz as the “Host of Smackdown” in 2006 where he tried to rally the crowd with his “Hoo-rah” chant which only got him booed, and when they put him in the ring it was as a heel. Whilst Miz himself admits he wasn’t right for the host role at that time, the true story of him having heat in the locker room for being a Reality TV wannabe is not discussed here.
One famous story is Miz was caught eating chicken over someone’s bag and was thrown out of the locker room (reportedly by Chris Benoit) and forced to change in the hallway instead. It would be a long time before Miz earned the respect of his peers, yet none of this is mentioned when it is the exact sort of thing people need to know about The Miz and his journey in WWE.
Yet these interview segments are only “part-shoot” in that he talks out of character and goes behind the curtain but doesn’t talk in insider parlance or go too much into the ups and down of backstage politics. Miz comes across as quite level headed and occasionally humble, putting over his peers where his character would put himself over – such as his elevation of the IC title, which Miz attributes to his opponents as much as himself.
He talks as though he either got lucky or had to fight for most of the opportunities he got – from creating the Dirt Sheet YouTube show with John Morrison to working his first solo programme with Cena in 2008, which he said showed he wasn’t ready for that role. Miz also claims to have been shocked to win the MITB match in 2009 which led to his one and only WWE Title run and a Wrestlemania main event against Cena in 2011, in a match Miz shockingly won.
And so it goes on, cherry picking the highlights and lowlights of Miz’s career, missing out a lot of the juicy stuff, like the partnerships with Alex Riley and Damien Mizdow, The Miztourage, etc., offering no discussion about his father being a frequent presence in his TV angles, and whilst praising wife Maryse in boosting his stock in and out of the ring, there are no contribution from anyone else other than Miz himself.
Fans of The Miz might enjoy seeing him leave his TV persona behind and the man behind it talk for once, and he comes across well, but the lack of overall depth to the content and mediocre match collection is hardly becoming for an “A-Lister”. Not entirely bad, but would have been far better for Miz and viewers as a tell-all documentary like so many others before him have had.
Rating – ***
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